The new road design at Jenkins and Macon Road was a quick response by the Georgia Department of Transportation to save lives in the intersection entering Ridgewood Estates, a DOT board member said Wednesday.
Sam Wellborn, who represents Congressional District 3 on the 14-member DOT board which includes Muscogee County, said transportation officials don’t have to go through the lengthy process when a project is less than $200,000. While many residents weren’t notified of changes before Feb. 22, Wellborn said,” they had some community interaction but in all honesty, they probably didn’t have enough.”
In one of the first designs in Muscogee County, the R-cut in Upatoi reduces crashes at the intersection and makes the roads safer. There may be more like it in the county if it proves to be a lifesaver.
Under the new design, motorists are prevented from driving across the intersection from any direction on the roadway. It allows left turns onto Jenkins for eastbound traffic and left turns onto the south side of the road for westbound traffic on Macon Road.
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If you’re traveling westbound on Macon from the north side of Jenkins, you make a right turn and head west. Drivers who live on the south side of Jenkins and need to go west now must go east a few hundred feet first and use a turn around before traveling west. The road has been relined to highlight the changes.
“I think the bottom line is that it’s going to be a big safety improvement and we might save some lives because of it,” Wellborn said. “That is the only reason we put that in. We’ve had some accidents there.”
Wellborn said he supports the project and residents should give it some time. “The DOT was responding to a problem quickly,” he said. “Normally, we get criticized because we take too long. This time, we get criticized because we reacted too quickly. It is a good project. It’s going to save some lives probably and we need to support it.”
The transportation board member said he has been by the project two or three times since it was completed.